“He didn’t want to win like that and I think the world wanted to see another round, but it is what it is,” he said of the anticlimactic ending of what was an electric encounter. “There’s nothing I can say afterwards, so I just enjoyed it like, ‘Whoops.’”
That “take it all in stride” attitude has been Cerrone’s signature throughout his 13-year career, as he’s never been one to get too pumped up on victories or down on defeats, preferring instead to keep rolling with the punches and get back into the Octagon as quickly as possible.
But this year has carried a different tenor than previous campaigns, as the 36-year-old moved back to the 155-pound weight class with one goal in mind — winning the UFC lightweight title — and after impressive efforts against Alexander Hernandez and Al Iaquinta earlier this year, the loss to Ferguson in Chicago this summer likely put a little more distance between “Cowboy” and the championship.
“To be honest with you, I don’t think that fight really set me back too far,” Cerrone said of his path to UFC gold. “With a win this weekend, it puts me right back in the mix. I think Tony fights (undisputed champion Khabib Nurmagomedov) next and then who else is there? Me.
“It’s not like, ‘Who else (could he fight next)?’ No — it’ll be undeniable (that I’m next in line),” he added. “I don’t think it set me back far, other than being immediately in line for the title like a win over Tony would have done. It set me back one, but you just take it in stride and here we go.”